Lately, I’ve been studying Engineering Method by reading the textbook “Discussion of the Method“, by Billy Vaughn Koen. It has been a very enriching exercise. From reading this book, I have acquired a formal language to express many thoughts and observations I’ve had for years; but, it has also been great because I have learned new ideas and made connections I hadn’t noticed before.
My grand vision is to acquaint myself with the material in this book through a study group with one other person. From this study group, we are developing a set of talking points with the intention to (a) begin spreading a cogent, coordinated message about engineering practices and (b) lead a small reading group of 5 or 6 people to train another generation of budding engineers within the organization who can go forth and reinforce the message. Eventually, I’d like to condense the material down to a meaningful set of highlights we could use to develop a recurring, short training course on the topic; perhaps make it an annual session we subject everyone to. You might recognize some of these patterns if you’ve ever read the book “Fearless Change“, by Mary Lynn Manns, Ph.D. and Linda Rising, Ph.D.
Even though my study partner and I are only through chapter 3, I have found the material covered thus far to be invaluable. I have had several opportunities to practice talking about engineering, what we’re doing right, and what we can improve on. I notice people are extremely positive in their response to my talking points. I also find their engagement in the conversation to be very high. The greatest thing is that I am beginning to hear these ideas echoed from corners to which I haven’t gone. The ideas are resonating and starting to spread.